Wake determined to get busing right
Posted August 19, 2013 8:32 p.m. EDT
Updated August 20, 2013 10:59 p.m. EDT
Wake County school leaders are determined to fix a transportation system that drew weeks of parental complaints last school year.
They had rolled out a series of changes they hope will improve communication between parents, schools and bus drivers.
Wake bus routes online
A week before the traditional-calendar first day, the Wake County Public School System published bus routes and stop locations online, enabling parents to anticipate an approximate pick-up time for their child when the school year begins Aug. 26.
The school district does not publish exact times for each stop, but advises parents to estimate about 5 minutes between stops and to allow up to 30 minutes of variance in the first weeks of school.
One phone number and online contact form
Parents can contact the school district transportation office online at http://www.wcpss.net/bus-support.
"We'll have full-time customer representatives," said David Neter, chief business officer for WCPSS. Neter has overseen most of the changes.
The school system has also established a new, automated telephone number for parents with concerns about transportation at 919-805-3030. This number replaces previous contacts for the transportation office and district offices.
"Last year we had a lot of callers call into the district office and hear, 'The voicemail box is full,'" Neter said.
Real-time bus tracking
When school begins, the site will even offer real-time bus tracking. Routes have been tested and all buses now have GPS units, Neter said.
Routes will be monitored in the first few weeks of the school year and adjusted as necessary.
"We are in a position to have a significantly improved opening," Neter said.